Morgan State University is a historically black research institution of about 6,000 students located in a residential part of Baltimore, Maryland. Morgan State University was experiencing a great surge of growth in students and new construction.
Morgan State University was experiencing a great surge of growth in students and new construction. The existing student center was very popular, with a connected bridge regarded as the social center of campus. However, the center was dated and too small to accommodate new enrollment projections. The design team needed to create vibrant new student life hub in a developing campus quadrant that would also serve the local community and reflect Morgan State’s strong history and culture.
Drawing inspiration from the bridge and its meet-and-great character, the design team developed the amble—a curvilinear circulation path expressed as multi-level atrium that sashays through the new student center. The amble captures the energy from outside the old student center and brings it indoors to create the new dynamic heart of the campus. The transparent facade provides terrific views both looking out from and looking into the center.
The student center is situated adjacent to a new library, reinforcing the link between academic study and learning to be leaders through active roles in campus life.
A ballroom and meeting room suite are located on the second floor—both visible yet separate for campus, community, and academic events and conferences. The auditorium is strategically located on the first floor to provide a separate entrance for ticketed events.
The central café buzzes with social interaction. Campus traditions such as the student-run sweet shop and game room are located just up the stairs—again with great views both in and out.
The new student center has become the place to be for students on campus! It serves as a physical representation for the values, mission, and culture of Morgan State University.
There has also been a huge uptick in hosted events and, subsequently, revenue generation.
With Sasaki Associates and CSD Architects
Photography by Robert Benson